2018 WORLD SERIES
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
BOSTON RED SOX
It's been 102-years since the Dodgers and Red Sox last met in baseball's Fall Classic. Back in 1916 the Brooklyn club is known as the Robins (nicknamed after manager Wilbert Robinson), while the series itself is split between Ebbets Field and Boston's Braves Field - not Fenway Park - due to its greater seating capacity.
Charles Ebbets' now four year old partnership with brothers Stephen and Edward McKeever is paying off. The influx of capital provided by them initially helps facilitate the completion and grand opening of Ebbets Field. By 1916, additional investitures in talent return early dividends both on the field, and at the gate. With a 94-60 (.610) record, the first place Robins finish 2.5 games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies en route to claiming the organization's second ever National League pennant, and their first of the new century. In return, a franchise record 447,747 fans spin the turnstiles in support of their club.
1916 National League Champions
Brooklyn veteran, standout first baseman, and two-time batting champ Jake Daubert finishes second in the season hitting race with a .316 average. Zack Wheat, now in his eighth year with the club, leads the team with nine home runs and 73 RBI, and moreover leads the National League with 32 doubles, a .461 slugging average, and 262 total bases. In his fifth season with Brooklyn, a 25-year old Casey Stengel plays 127 games in right field, batting .279 with 27 doubles, eight triples, and 53 RBI, while finishing second behind Daubert with eight home runs.
However, Wilbert Robinson does not hold off the Phillies were it not for his pitching. Brooklyn boasts three starters with ERAs under two, led by staff ace Jeff Pfeffer, who posts a 25-11 record with a 1.92 ERA through 328.2 innings pitched. Larry Cheney goes 18-12 and mirrors Pfeffer's ERA. A rejuvenated Rube Marquard pitching in his first full season for Brooklyn makes 21 starts/36 appearances, posting a 13-6 record with a fine 1.58 ERA through 205 innings pitched.
The Boston Red Sox own the distinction of being baseball's first ever World Series champion of the modern era, when in 1903 they defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first agreed upon playoff between the National and American leagues. Just don't say that in front of John McGraw. It offends him. He dismisses outright Ban Johnson's upstart league, much less the 1903 series. As luck would have it, the Red Sox wind up defeating McGraw's Giants in 1912, then go on to capture their third ever title in 1915 over the Philadelphia Athletics. By 1916, the Red Sox set their sights on becoming the first ever major league team to achieve four World Series victories.
BOSTON RED SOX
Defending World Series Champions
Like the Robins, the first place Red Sox clinch the American League pennant with a 91-63 (.591) record, barely outlasting the Chicago White Sox by a two game margin - but not without a hint of apathy in the summer air. To the dismay of Red Sox fans, the revered Tris Speaker is sold away to the Cleveland Indians. This perhaps explains Boston fans' recoil at the gate, where in 1915 they lead the league in attendance then fall to third in 1916 despite fielding another championship caliber club.
In the meantime, a 21-year old southpaw pitcher named George "Babe" Ruth authors the finest season of his dominant, albeit brief five-plus year pitching career. In 1916, George leads the league both with 40 starts and a 1.75 ERA. He posts a 23-12 record with nine shutouts and a 4.7 K/9 average, while walking 118 batters and surrendering just 230 hits over 323.2 innings pitched for a 1.075 WHiP. He is also the only major league pitcher to not surrender a home run all season.
In between starts, Ruth likes playing right field so as to get a few more at-bats. The Red Sox oblige, but to mixed results. In 136 regular season at-bats, Ruth slashes .272/.322/.419, with five doubles, three home runs, and 16 RBI. Although he indeed, albeit strangely ties for the team lead in home runs, his future is clearly destined to play itself out on a pitcher's mound. But that's not exactly a ringing endorsement of outfielders Tillie Walker or Duffy Lewis - Harry Hooper withstanding.
Ruth, however, is only scratching the surface. The Red Sox are defending champions for a reason. Manager Bill Carrigan is prepared to throw any one of his five young superlative starters at Brooklyn, not to mention the spillover of quality pitching awaiting in his bullpen. Second year Red Sox Carl Mays, and four year Sox pitchers Rube Foster and Dutch Leonard, along with Giants import Ernie Shore, and Sad Sam Jones and Herb Pennock waiting in the wings, all stand poised to turn back the 1916 National League challengers from Brooklyn.
GAME ONE @ BRAVES FIELD
ROBINS vs. RED SOX
Rube Marquard vs. Ernie Shore
Red Sox 6
Two former New York Giants hurlers face off in Game One at Braves Field. Ernie Shore toes the rubber for the Boston Red Sox, and is opposed by three-time 20-game winner Rube Marquard.
Boston strikes first with consecutive extra-base hits in the third inning. With two outs, first baseman Dick Hoblitzell triples to right, then scores on left fielder Duffy Lewis' double to left. But Brooklyn answers right back. Casey Stengel singles leading off the fourth, then scampers home on Zack Wheat's triple to right.
Red Sox right fielder Harry Hooper doubles leading off the bottom of the fifth. Hooper is successfully sacrificed over to third base, then is delivered home on center fielder Tillie Walker's base hit, giving Boston a 2-1 advantage. The game goes awry for Brooklyn in the seventh. Marquard surrenders a lead-off double to second baseman Hal Janvrin. After which, two infield errors and good situational hitting on behalf of Boston result in a 1-5 Robins deficit. In relief of Marquard, manager Wilbert Robinson calls upon staff ace Jeff Pfeffer to pitch the eighth. However, Brooklyn's fourth error of the game leads to yet another tack-on run for Boston. Brooklyn rallies off Ernie Shore for four runs in the top of the ninth. But Red Sox manager Carrigan summons Carl Mays from the bullpen to halt Brooklyn's comeback bid one run short.
The Red Sox take Game One over Brooklyn by a 6-5 final at Braves Field, Boston.
Rube Marquard pitches seven innings in a losing effort, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits and four walks, with six strikeouts. Ernie Shore surrenders five runs (three earned) on nine hits and three walks, with five strikeouts through 8.2 innings for the win. Carl Mays gets credit with a save.
GAME TWO @ BRAVES FIELD
ROBINS vs. RED SOX
Sherry Smith vs. Babe Ruth
Red Sox 2
The Robins come out swinging against Boston starter Babe Ruth. Leading off the game, Jimmy Johnston's fly to deep center eventually comes to rest 420-feet away from home plate in the patiently waiting hands of Red Sox Tillie Walker. Keep this in mind: if at Ebbets Field, Johnston's blow carries up, out, and onto Bedford Avenue. Thus, welcome to new Braves Field (opened August 1915), where there exists between home plate and the center field fence roughly 550-feet of playing surface. In order to simulate such dimensions Brooklyn would need to close off Bedford Avenue and extend the center field fences to the north/east corner of Montgomery Street.
After first baseman Jake Daubert grounds out to third, Hi Myers squares up another Babe Ruth offering high, deep, and this time beyond the reach of Tillie Walker and right fielder Harry Hooper for an inside the park home run, and an early 1-0 Robins lead.
So begins Game Two of the 1916 World Series ...
Bostons evens the game in the bottom of the third. Shortstop Everett Scott opens with a triple to the left/center field gap. After which, Babe Ruth helps his own cause with a ground ball to second base, scoring Scott from third.
Things stay this way through the ninth, and into extra innings they go. Neither starting pitcher yields to the bullpen. Brooklyn's Sherry Smith and Boston's Babe Ruth duel pitch for pitch through 13 innings of play. However, Smith breaks a cardinal rule in the bottom of the 14th inning by walking the lead-off batter. Boston's Duffy Lewis successfully sacrifices Dick Hoblitzell to second, whom then scores the game winning run on pinch-hitter Dale Gainer's hit to left.
Babe Ruth pitches 14 full innings for the victory, surrendering just one earned run on six hits, three walks, and four strikeouts. Sherry Smith surrenders two earned runs on seven hits and six walks, the last of which obviously comes back to haunt him. He fans two batters through 13.2 innings in a hard-luck losing effort.
GAME THREE @ EBBETS FIELD
RED SOX vs. ROBINS
Carl Mays vs. Jack Coombs
Red Sox 3
Four-year old Ebbets Field hosts its first ever World Series game. However, thousands of seats go unsold as Charles Ebbets scandalously raises ticket prices to five dollars. The backlash is severe as a mere 21,087 spectators - nearly 9,000 shy of capacity - witness their Robins hold on to win Game Three by a slim 4-3 margin.
The Brooks jump out to an early lead when Jack Daubert scores on second baseman George Cutshaw's two-out base hit to right. Brooklyn starting pitcher Jack Coombs helps his own cause with a base hit in the fifth which plates shortstop Ivy Olson for a 2-0 lead. Olson then drives in two more runs in the sixth with a triple to right.
Undeterred, runs batted in by Boston's Harry Hooper and center fielder Chick Shorten in the top of the sixth cut Brooklyn's lead by half. The Red Sox then close to within one run on third baseman Larry Gardner's seventh inning home run. That inspires Wilbert Robinson into making a pitching change. Jack Coombs exits on the winning side of a 4-3 game, after allowing three earned runs on seven hits and just one walk through 6.1 innings pitched. Just as Brooklyn's manager had done in Game One, Robinson turns to his staff ace Jeff Pfeffer for relief, whom tosses 2.2 scoreless innings of no-hit ball with three strikeouts.
Boston starter Carl Mays in a losing effort surrenders four earned runs on seven hits and three walks through five innings. Rube Foster follows with three scoreless innings in relief of Mays.
Game Four @ Ebbets Field
RED SOX vs. ROBINS
Dutch Leonard vs. Rube Marquard
Red Sox 6
Despite the Robins victory in Game Three, Brooklyn's backlash at the gate continues for a second straight game as nearly a third of all seats again go unsold. Due to hiked-up ticket prices, just under 22,000 spectators witness the Robins fall behind in the series three games to one.
For a third straight game, Brooklyn jumps out to an early lead. Facing Boston's Dutch Leonard, Jimmy Johnston leading off the home first inning triples to the right/center field gap. Hi Myers follows with an RBI single to right, and shortly thereafter scores when Red Sox Hal Janvrin mishandles George Cutshaw's ground ball to second.
However, Boston quickly turns the tables on Brooklyn starter Rube Marquard and the Robins. Dick Hoblitzell draws a walk leading off the second. Duffy Lewis then doubles to right. Next up, Larry Gardner strikes a fly to deep left/center for an inside the park home run - his second of the series - giving the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. Boston adds to their lead in the fourth on catcher Bill Carrigan's base hit, and again in the fifth on a run scoring double by Hoblitzell, whom later caps off the scoring with another run scoring hit in the seventh.
Dutch Leonard goes the distance for Boston, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and four walks, with three strikeouts. Rube Marquard lasts just four innings in a losing effort, allowing four earned runs on five hits and two walks, with three strikeouts. Larry Cheney and Nap Rucker join to pitch the final five innings.
Game Five @ Braves Field
ROBINS vs. RED SOX
Jeff Pfeffer vs. Ernie Shore
Red Sox 4
Boston's Ernie Shore makes his second start of the series. He is opposed by Brooklyn ace Jeff Pfeffer, whom makes his first and only start of the series, as Coach Robinson prefers instead utilizing Pfeffer out of the bullpen in games One and Three.
The Robins take a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, when George Cutshaw scores from third on a passed ball charged to Red Sox catcher Hick Cady. The lead is short lived as Boston answers in the bottom half of the frame. With one out, Duffy Lewis strokes a triple to left, then scores on Larry Gardner's sac-fly.
In the bottom of the third, two errors by Robins shortstop Ivy Olson lead to a pair of unearned runs, and a 1-3 Brooklyn deficit. Hal Janvrin's run scoring double in the fifth then extends Boston's lead to three.
Ernie Shore takes care of the rest. The Red Sox starter pitches a nine inning gem, allowing just one unearned run on three hits and one walk, with four strikeouts for the series clinching victory. Jeff Pfeffer takes the loss after allowing four runs (two earned ) through seven innings on six hits and two walks, with two strikeouts.
The 43,620 fans in attendance at Braves Field witness the Boston Red Sox clinch their second of back-to-back championships, and their fourth World Series title overall - the most of any club since 1903.
Plaque at site of Braves Field
Boston Red Sox defeat Los Angeles Dodgers
Boston Red Sox defeat Los Angeles Dodgers